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The Port of Chicago connects the state to international ports via two main routes: from the Great Lakes, via the Saint Lawrence Seaway, to the Atlantic Ocean and from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River, via the Illinois Waterway to the Illinois River.

The Mississippi River, the Ohio River, and the Wabash River form parts of the boundaries of Illinois.

They built an urban complex of more than 100 platform and burial mounds, a 50-acre (20 ha) plaza larger than 35 football fields, and a woodhenge of sacred cedar, all in a planned design expressing the culture's cosmology.

Monks Mound, the center of the site, is the largest Pre-Columbian structure north of the Valley of Mexico.

It is 100 feet (30 m) high, 951 feet (290 m) long, 836 feet (255 m) wide, and covers 13.8 acres (5.6 ha).), and been as much as 50 feet (15 m) high, making its peak 150 feet (46 m) above the level of the plaza.

The current spelling form, Illinois, began to appear in the early 1670s, when French colonists had settled in the western area.

The Great Migration from the South established a large community of African Americans in the state, including Chicago, who founded the city's famous jazz and blues cultures. presidents have been elected while living in Illinois: Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Additionally, Ronald Reagan, whose political career was based in California, was born and raised in the state.

Chicago, the center of the Chicago Metropolitan Area, is now recognized as a global alpha-level city. Today, Illinois honors Lincoln with its official state slogan Land of Lincoln, which has been displayed on its license plates since 1954.

Many indigenous tribes engaged in constant warfare.

According to Suzanne Austin Alchon, "At one site in the central Illinois River valley, one third of all adults died as a result of violent injuries." As the Illini declined during the Beaver Wars era, members of the Algonquian-speaking Potawatomi, Miami, Sauk, and other tribes including the Fox (Mesquakie), Ioway, Kickapoo, Mascouten, Piankashaw, Shawnee, Wea, and Winnebago (Ho-Chunk) came into the area from the east and north around the Great Lakes.

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